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Occam's razor and modelling ecological complexity

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The natural world presents us with complexity and diversity across an enormous range of scales. Complicated simulation models can do the same thing… but how reliable is the link between theory and reality? I hope to find some answers to this question using transparent mathematical models and a range of terrestrial and marine datasets, arguing that simplicity can sometimes offer more compelling, and more useful, explanations.

James, A., Pitchford, J. W., Plank, M. J. Disentangling nestedness from models of ecological complexity, Nature 487 (7406), 2012, 227-230.

This talk is part of the British Antarctic Survey series.

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